The Case for Business Cards
Author: Mike Scaletti
We live in a digital world, now, in the era of COVID, more than ever. But there are some analog things that never go out of style. Business cards just might be one of those.
Business cards are useful in many ways, when networking, when marketing, and even when looking for a job. Here's why.
1. Digital Only Communication Can Be Impersonal
When you are networking, you should be attempting to make a genuine connection with someone. A lot of times exchanging contact information via text or email can be extremely convenient. It can also be extremely impersonal. You want to be making eye contact and engaging in conversation in order to make that connection.
Do you know what gets in the way of eye contact and conversation? Burying your face in your phone to send a text with your contact info. Instead, handing over a business card maintains the flow of your connection while still exchanging all of the relevant information!
2. They Are Still The Most Cost-Effective Marketing Tool
You can invest in SEO, SMO, Email Marketing, and Google Keyword buys all you want. In fact, in the modern world it necessary to do so. But the bottom line is that the best networking is still done in person. The most effective lead you will generate, either for your business or for your personal brand, is going to be made with a handshake and an exchange of business cards.
Plus, for a relatively modest investment, you have access to a 24/7 marketing campaign. You never know when you are going to run into your next client, your next potential employer, or your next lead, and there is no guarantee that they will follow up on checking you out online. But if you have a pocket full of business cards, you can leave them with a physical, tangible reminder of you that they will be able to use to find you later.
Also, if you have a particularly clever, creative, or impressive business card, it is likely to be shared by the people to whom you give it. That means that it is continuing to market for you, even after it has already served its primary function!
3. They Make a Great First Impression
Every connection you make could be your next great lead, or job, or hire. That means that you want every connection to come away from meeting you with a fantastic first impression. One way to make a better impression than simply leaving them with an email address or phone number is to present them with a slick and well-designed business card.
Remember that the business card you present is intended to make that impression for your brand, and you DO NOT want your brand to be thought of as cheap or flimsy.
Take the time to find a high-end business card printer. There are plenty out there. Spend a little extra on your design and printing and you will never have to worry about the first impression your brand is making again.
4. People Like Personality
People are far more likely to make a positive connection to an image of your face than they are to impersonal words on a screen or a sheet of paper. While it is generally considered gouache to put your face on your resume, the same taboo does not exist when it comes to putting your face on your business card. Indeed, in some industries, it is even expected!
Whether or not you put your face on it, a well-designed business card is able to convey much more of your personality than an email or resume alone could do, and that personality is key to making a lasting impression. Want the best of both worlds? Go to your next interview with your business card paperclipped to the top of your resume.
5. Business Cards Indicate You're Professional and Prepared
As I've mentioned a few times already, you can meet your next key connection anywhere at any time. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing a person you've met might be a fruitful connection, but not having a pen, or having a dead phone, and not being able to ensure you can stay in touch with that person.
Think about it from a presentation perspective. If you had to choose to do business with someone, and your choice was between someone who had to scramble to find a pen and paper to write their contact info down with or someone who simply pulled out a business card and handed it to you, who would you choose? Being professional and prepared at all times is a great way to indicate to potential connections that they can rely on you in any situation.